“Philanthropy for Women’s Rights” Webinar on the International Day of Women

  •  February 25, 2021

When you lift up women, you lift up humanity’ – Melinda Gates 

Bulgarian Fund for Women, Bulgarian Donors Forum and Bcause Foundation, with the support of Philip Morris Bulgaria EOOD, have the pleasure to invite you to the webinar “Philanthropy for Women’s Rights”. The event will be held on the 8th of March at 16:00 CEST on the Zoom platform. In order to secure your participation, you need to register here – https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_xildsH73Q9uj577p4SiWrQ . The event will be held in Bulgarian and in English and there will be simultaneous interpretation.      

Join our conversation on the International Day of Women about philanthropy in Bulgaria and why it is important to invest in the potential and the rights of girls and women. What is philanthropy, what is social change and how are they connected?

Philanthropy literary means to love the humankind and this love can have the form of donating to various causes. Social change is to challenge and to change for the long run the structures, the written and unwritten laws of our society and the societal norms, which are the reason for many (systemic and deep) inequalities. Thus, philanthropy for women’s rights is the strategic investment in girls and women who work to overcome the social inequalities and achieve gender equality and who are the ones driving social change.

Be with us to learn more also about the tradition of philanthropy in Bulgaria and what people donate for today? What are the platforms and the tools to donate in Bulgaria? How does it feel to be a philanthropist for women’s rights today? How do we choose the causes we donate for – with our heart or with our mind? How does supporting women’s rights looks like for the companies in Bulgaria? Why corporate social responsibility and the long-term investment(s) in women and girls are crucial for our society? What are the global trends in the field of philanthropy for women’s rights? How do the women’s funds around the world operate? What are the latest strategies and policies of the international foundations donating to girls’ and women’s groups? Join us to discuss these and many other questions you are interested in! 

The Panelists: 

Nadejda Dermendjieva is since 2015 Executive Director of the Bulgarian Fund for Women – the only Bulgarian foundation that exclusively invests in women’s rights and supports activists, groups and civil society organizations working to overcome inequalities and achieve gender equity. Nadejda has more than 10 years of experience in the non-profit world, focused on developing philanthropy for women’s rights and she is a human rights activist. Also, she is a feminist and a writer. Before joining BFW, she has worked for the Bulgarian Centre of Women in Technology, MoveBG and other CSOS, while volunteering for different causes as well. She has master’s degrees in Gender Studies and Creative Writing from the Sofia University, she was a PhD student in Feminist Philosophy in BAS, spent one semester at the Nottingham University, she is a certified case manager and has gone under various trainings in entrepreneurship, leadership and so on in the US, Berlin, etc. Under her leadership the Fund increases its budget 10 times, the team grows 4 times and BFW starts supporting annually more than 100 initiatives around the country connected to women’s rights. Nadejda is an optimist, she believes in the power of the women’s movement and that a social transformation leading to a better life for us all is possible.      

Elitsa Barakova is Executive Director of Bcause Foundation – the organization seeking to change the lives of people and communities by developing philanthropy and social investments. She has been with the foundation for 25 years and under her leadership, the programs of the organization grew from 50,000 to 7,000,000 BGN. Elitsa is a member of the National Council of the Bulgarian network of the UN Global Contract, co-Chair of the Human Resources Council of the American Trade Chamber, participates in the working group for Social Economy within the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and since 2021, is a member of the Social and Economic Council. A graduate of the language high school in Sliven, Sofia University and courses of the School for International Training, Vermont, US, Advocacy Institute, Elitsa is an optimist and believes a day will come when we will buy everything we need from sustainable social enterprises and we will donate to schools, universities and to our favourite NGO not because someone is going to die but because it’s part of our culture and our well-being.         

Krasimira Velichkova is Executive Director since 2008 of the Bulgarian Donors Forum – the association of the philanthropy organizations in the country, comprising of more than 50 foundations and corporate donors. She has vast experience in the civic sector – before joining the Donors Forum, she works as a “Development and Partnerships” Manager of “Altera” Association, “Development and financing” manager of Workshop for Civic Initiatives Foundation, program assistant in the Soros center for culture policies and is a graduate in Culturology from Sofia University. Over the years, Krasimira has participated in various public and expert councils and boards and has been Deputy Chair of the Board of the European network of philanthropy organizations DAFNE for 6 years. Currently, she is a member of the Honorary Trust of the International Award of the Duke of Edinburgh, of the Board of TELUS International, of the Board of Trustees of the foundations TimeHeroes, Animus and Reach for Change. 

Veneta Dimitrova is General Manager of Avon Bulgaria and Sales Lead Avon Bulgaria, Macedonia and Albania. She graduated from the University of Varna with a degree in “Accounting and audit” and has participated in multiple trainings such as Situational Leadership, Coaching Leadership Style, Public Speaking, Digital Masterclass. Veneta started her career in Avon in 1999 as a sales representative and over the years, she has occupied multiple positions in the company such as – Zone Manager, Business Trainer, Division Manager, Training Manager for the Balkan region, Sales Manager for Bulgaria. A passionate supporter of women’s rights, she is an ambassador and participant in the charity initiatives of Avon – “Mission Against Breast Cancer” and “Mission Against Violence Against Women”. Together with being a successful professional and an inspiring leader, Veneta is a mom of 2, who believes in the power and the vulnerability of women as well as in the balance between high achievements and the coziness of the home.

As Global Director Corporate Responsibility and Senior Vice President of METRO AG, Sofia-born Veronika Pountcheva leads the sustainability strategy of the international wholesale and food specialist. Veronika has more than 20 years of experience in wholesale, being Managing Director of various METRO companies. She is an acting Co-Chair of the Sustainability Pillar of the Consumer Goods Forum and serves at the board of Amfori BSCI. Veronika is passionate about environmental and societal change hence she works on building strong partnerships with business partners, investor community and NGOs for sustainable societal and environmental transformation. She supports food innovation as startup business angel. Furthermore, as chair of the advisory board of LEAD Network she advocates for diversity in the consumer goods and retail sectors.

Before becoming Executive Director in 2020, Alexandra Garita served as Deputy Director for three years, implementing Prospera’s current programs, consolidating the team, and influencing philanthropy to invest in more democratic ways within the women’s funding ecosystem. Previously, she worked as Advisor at the Simone de Beauvoir Leadership Institute in Mexico and was founder and President of the Board of Equis: Justice for Women. She previously founded and coordinated the feminist alliance Realizing Sexual and Reproductive Justice (RESURJ) for five years. Prior, Alex worked as Senior Program Officer, International Policy, with the International Women’s Health Coalition, led the international advocacy program at IPPF/Western Hemisphere Region and was the Mexico Program Officer at ARTICLE 19, The Global Campaign for Free Expression. An activist committed to advancing women’s human rights, Alex formed part of Decidir (Choice: Youth Coalition for Sexual Citizenship), where she protested, wrote, and advocated for young people’s rights to safe and legal abortion in Mexico City prior to the liberalization of the law. Alex has also worked at the Mexican Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and with the Mexican Council on Foreign Relations. She is a member of the Editorial Board of Reproductive Health Matters and holds a B.A. in International Relations from Boston University and an M.A. in the Theory and Practice of Human Rights from Essex University.

Images: Maria Donchevska for BFW

Copyright © 2009-2019 Български фонд за жените. All Rights Reserved.